Pacific Fibre, the proposed next generation submarine cable between New Zealand and California has thrown in the towel, according to an announcement this morning. The company’s board of directors has voted to cease operations, citing an inability to raise the necessary funds (NZ$400M) — which was always the sticking point.
The proposed submarine cable seemed like a longshot from the beginning, putting huge bandwidth in place to a rather small market – New Zealand’s FTTH plans notwithstanding. The established Southern Cross cable will probably get a nice boost out of this, as the main alternative for Pacific Fibre’s early anchor customers like REANNZ and Vodafone.
In a parting shot, Pacific Fibre questioned whether New Zealand’s UFB effort makes sense without the lower international bandwidth costs that would have resulted from a new alternative, direct route to the US.
However, Telegeography suggests that there could be an alternative waiting in the wings. Kordia had previously shelved certain plans when Pacific Fibre look like it had the inside track, and might team up with China’s Axin under the Optikor banner to step into the gap.